Carbamazepine and Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes). Bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through -- the symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe. Episodes of mania and depression typically recur throughout the affected person's lifespan.
Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
One brand of carbamazepine (Equetro) is approved to treat manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Mixed episodes have characteristics of both mania and depression. Equetro has not been adequately studied for the long-term treatment of bipolar disorder.
Carbamazepine and EpilepsyEpilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. These changes in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
Some people may only have a single seizure during their lives, and one seizure does not mean that a person has epilepsy (see Seizures and Epilepsy). In fact, the term epilepsy refers to a number of different kinds of unprovoked, recurring seizures that happen for a number of different reasons.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories, partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures.
Epilepsy treatments may include medications (see Epilepsy Medication), surgery (see Epilepsy Surgery), diet changes (see Epilepsy Diet), and biofeedback. Carbamazepine is approved to treat various types of seizures, including:
- Partial seizures, including simplex partial or complex partial seizures
- Generalized seizures, including generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand-mal seizures)
- Mixed seizures.
Carbamazepine is generally not considered effective at treating absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures).